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ABCD January 2022

January 27, 2022

Ten of us in our little Zoom boxes met on January 15th, thanks to Thalia.

There was news of exhibitions: The Red Dress is at ACE Arts in Somerton until 29th January. Recommended by all who have seen it!

The Red Dress is a global collaborative embroidery project conceived by British artist Kirstie Macleod. 12 years in the making, it seeks to connect individuals from all walks of life and provide a platform for women’s voices to be heard. As part of the Red Dress’s year long tour of the UK funded by the Arts Council, this exhibition will present the unique garment alongside images and stories of the artisans who helped create her, including the stitched work from 10 local embroiderers who have contributed to the Red Dress.

The exhibition formerly known as The Jerwood Drawing Prize (now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize) is on at Bridge House, near the station in Trowbridge, until 22nd February. Recommended by Bron.

Caroline recommended Slow Time, an exhibition of pinhole camera photos, on until the end of February in the Black Swan in Frome.

Thalia has been painting Peace Banners (designed by Nicholas Roerich) for a festival this spring to celebrate the centenary of Alice Butler’s Glastonbury Pageant.

Clare is cautiously getting back into her wild-swimming habit after a nasty accident. She has made and started using a new swimming sketchbook/journal, and is also drawing Flamenco dancers in action.

Jane was feeling revitalised by two days of making books with Judith and Bron, using DAS Bookbinding’s tutorial for the Sewn Board binding.

Pauline is taking part in the fifth and final Fifty Bees exhibition, also at ACE Arts, 19th April – 14th May, and is working on lino and collograph prints for a twice-postponed Artists 303 exhibition – probably October!

Carol volunteers at Tyntesfield and is working toward a book inspired by this National Trust property. She has been printing 3-colour lino prints and drawing buildings along the River Severn.

I (Ama) described a walk on Boxing Day to the Purton Boat Graveyard. I’d like to visit again and make a book about these historic hulks that have a second life reinforcing the bank of the River Severn and protecting the nearby Gloucester-Sharpness canal.
My 8-year-old grandson and I have made a book of some of his clerihews. His enthusiasm for poetry gives me great joy! This structure is a folded single-sheet book with stapled-in folios.

“A Lovly Book of Poums”

Judith showed us her latest Sewn Board book, made with indigo-dyed book-cloth and endpapers, with heavyweight Zerkall pages. The photos show this structure’s distinctive hollow spine that allows it to open flat.

Caroline had spent the morning making a dam in her garden. Her migration-themed book has a cover made from Warli painted cloth from India. Witrhin the book’s pages, free-flying birds make a stark contrast with struggling humans. She referred to a poem by Nicola Davies about child refugees. Do read it, please.

Judy has been combining calligraphy with maps and altered backgrounds to great effect. Lots of extraordinary field-names on her regular walks from home.
She was about to start an online course with the wonderful book-artist Guy Begbie. We look forward to seeing the result.

Bron shared the sad news of the death of Pauline Watson, a much-loved former member of ABCD, ceramic artist, teacher, past chair of Somerset Art Works and founder of the Dove community. The many of us who, 50 years on, use the Dove as a creative home, owe it all to her foresight and persistence in setting it up.
Bron is now a film star, making a brief appearance in a documentary about Mary Cassat which will be shown in cinemas from the autumn. She dug out some 40-year-old copper etching plates to demonstrate three-plate printing, and created a drypoint portrait on-camera. The rest of us are in awe.

Drypoint from a drawing of Gill Booth, made in the eighties. Another former ABCD member now no longer with us.

Looking ahead – Bron intends to show her books during Art Weeks (not at the Dove) and each of us needs to decide whether we are in or not, and to come up with ideas by Easter.

Our next three meetings will be on 12th Feb, 12th March and 9th April.

Finally, here are the gleanings from my notebook.

January Dove-droppings

gentle in January
folding and sticking
it’s an ideas month

a genetic thing
a revelation
most reviving

cameras on trees
for the Rite of Spring
same place but all different

living in a truck
insisting on perfection
there will be a cost

old copper
back from Japan
skipping through a hole into

Pandora’s room with sofas
she’s into tigers
dissolved by walking

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2022 5:09 pm

    Lovely to read about the activities.

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